Women and Alcohol

This is a special edition of the Journal Alcohol Research: Current Reviews. It is open source and has new articles on women and alcohol use.

Consumption of psychoactive substances and gender perspective. In the week of International Day of Action for Women's Health

ISSUP Argentina
Event Date
Buenos Aires

ISSUP Argentina invites you to participate in a webinar that will discuss psychoactive substance use and gender perspective - in the week of the International Day of Action for Women's Health. The webinar will take place on May 21, 2021 at 11:00 hrs (Argentina time).

May 21, 2021, 11:00 - 12:00 hrs (Argentina time)

Click here to sign up for the webinarFlorencia Tufro

Despite the role that gender plays as a health condition, this perspective in the field of addictions has often not been taken into account. However, since some years, international agencies have emphasized the need to incorporate this approach into public policies and specific programmes.
The webinar provides a description and practical strategies on this topic.

Speaker: Florence Tufró

Sociologist, specialist in gender issues.

She was in charge of the Women's Directorate of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires, she was also Director of Territorial Boarding of SEDRONAR in Argentina.
She is currently An Adviser to the National Ombudsman's Office for Children and Adolescents.

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Women and Substance Use: Reading List

The theme for International Women’s Day 2021 (IWD 2021) is let’s all choose to challenge. It is everyone’s responsibility to stand up to gender inequality. For people working in the substance use prevention, treatment and recovery field, it is a reminder that we need to explore women’s experience of substance use and addiction. We need to look at the challenges that women and girls experience and the barriers they face when trying to access support. Research should be used to carefully design evidence-based interventions and services that reflect the specific needs of women.

As a starting point, below you can find a selection of papers and resources related to women and substance use. You can also join the ISSUP Women network to access further reading and discussion on the subject.

  1. UNODC has developed guidelines on Drug Prevention and Treatment for Girls and Women. The publication examines the trends of substance use among girls and women and offers guidance of effective drug prevention and effective treatment, care and rehabilitation.
  2. The WHO has recently released a report that highlights women and tobacco, with a particular focus on the European region. It explores the way tobacco industry targets girls and women through gendered advertising, and it provides guidance on developing gender-sensitive tobacco-control policies.
  3. EMCDDA has developed a variety of resources on women and drug use including publications, data, news, events and reports. You can also access the best practice portal, which provides an overview of the European picture and options to tailor services to best meet the needs of women requiring support. You can also read the EMCDDA Women’s voices thematic paper, which explores the experiences and perceptions of women facing drug problems.
  4. Drug and alcohol findings carefully examine the research on the effectiveness of the responses to drug and alcohol problems. As part of their Focus on Women collection, you can find out more about how sex and gender can influence the course of addiction and treatment.
  5. This guide, published by SAMHSA, assists providers in offering treatment to women living with substance use disorders. It reviews gender-specific research and best practices, such as common patterns of initial use and specific treatment issues and strategies.
  6. The Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) and the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) co-hosted a four-part seminar series on issues relating to women and alcohol. Here, you can read about the discussions that were had on topics relating to women, alcohol, empowerment, stigma and how to plan for the future.
  7. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has set up a topic page that includes DrugFact sheets, research reports and infographics on Substance use among women.
International Women's Day ISSUP
Gabriela Hernandez

In light of IWD2021, it is worth sharing the report published by the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD): Drug Policies in the Americas and Gender Perspective - Multilateral Evaluation Mechan

Drug and Alcohol Findings Focus on Women

Drug and Alcohol Findings bridges the divide between research on the effectiveness of responses to drug and alcohol problems and the practitioners who provide those interventions.

The Drug and Alcohol Finding Focus on Women aims to explore how women’s substance use problems, needs and outcomes differ from those of men. Here you can find a collection of interventions that further our understanding of how sex and gender can influence the course of addiction and treatment.

For IWD2021, the The Drug and Alcohol Findings team have added two new studies to the Effectiveness Bank that evaluate examples of women-only services.

Gabriela Hernandez

On February 9, 2021, the Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (ES-CICAD), in collaboration with Israel’s National Authority for Community Safety, organized a virtual workshop entitled, “Gender-specific treatment programs for substance use: Israel’s approach to

Through a gender lens: women and tobacco in the WHO European Region

This report provides a brief summary of some of the challenges, old and new, that women and girls face in the context of the tobacco epidemic in the WHO European Region, outlining the gendered nature of tobacco use and exposure and how the tobacco industry continues to target them through gendered messaging. It also provides recommendations for approaches and policy interventions that take a gender lens to tobacco control.

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) strongly underpins gender equality and highlights the importance of addressing gender-specific risks. This report seeks to reinforce these aspects of the WHO FCTC, supplement tobacco-control reports published by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, and follow up on the recommendations of the WHO European strategy for women’s health and well-being by promoting gender-responsive tobacco-control policy.

Women and Alcohol

Event Date

In the first of ASCERT's 2021 Seminar Series, Women and Alcohol will consider how the experience of alcohol is different for women, including alcohol-related harm, targeting by the alcohol industry, societal attitudes towards women’s drinking and barriers to support and recovery.

This is an online webinar event. 

Date And Time

Tue, February 16, 2021

2:00 PM – 4:30 PM GMT

Sex and Gender Effects in Recovery From Alcohol Use Disorder

The current article provides a summary of biopsychosocial gender differences in alcohol use disorder (AUD), then reviews existing literature on gender differences in treatment access, retention, outcomes, and longer-term recovery. Among psychotherapies for AUD, there is support for the efficacy of providing female-specific treatment and for female-only treatment settings, but only when female-specific treatment is included. However, despite mandates from the National Institutes of Health to do so, there is little work thus far that directly compares genders on outcomes of specific psychotherapies or pharmacotherapies for AUD. Although existing research has mixed findings on sex and gender differences in overall outcomes, there are more consistent findings suggesting different mechanisms of behavior change among men and women in AUD treatment and long-term recovery. Thus, more work is needed that attends to gender and sex differences, including planning studies that are structured to examine not only gender-differentiated outcomes in treatment response but equally important, differences in treatment access and attendance as well as differences in mechanisms of change in drinking behavior.

Webinar | Building Strength and Resilience during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Event Date
Washington, D.C.
United States

Building Strength and Resilience during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Focus on Parents with Substance Use Disorders and Their Children

A live webinar exploring strategies for building strength and resilience in parents with substance use disorders during this difficult time.

Presenter: Hendrée E Jones, PhD, Executive Director, UNC Horizons, Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina

Moderator: Cary Hopkins Eyles, MA, CAP
Date: 11/11/2020 at 9:00am Eastern / 2pm London

Location: Webinar
To register please email Cary Hopkins Eyles at: eylesc [at] icuddr [dot] org

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Supporting the Families of Substance Users: An Interview with Vivienne Evans OBE

Event Date
United Kingdom

Register for the next webinar in the ISSUP Expert days series:

ISSUP Expert Days

Please join us on Friday 24th of April at 2pm (GMT) for an interview with Vivienne Evans OBE, ISSUP Board member and Chief Executive of Adfam - the UK’s national umbrella organisation for children and families affected by substance misuse. Adfam’s mission is to empower family members and carers, supporting frontline workers and influencing decision-makers to stop drug and alcohol use from threatening and ultimately destroying family relationships and wellbeing.

Recent research published by Adfam revealed that almost 1 in 3 adults in the UK have been negatively affected by the substance use of someone they know, including family members. Many families suffer in silence without access to adequate support. The harms can range from mental health problems, abuse, relationship difficulties, financial strain and isolation to many other forms of stigma.

What ways can you inform your practice to improve outcomes for families? How should you approach the provision of ongoing support for children affected by parental substance misuse? How can providers ensure families are given the necessary opportunities to recover and thrive? What strategies can you use to help families overcome stigma and find the confidence to access the support they need?

Vivienne will be helping participants to navigate these questions and more. You will learn how to offer effective support to enable families to improve their health and wellbeing, stay in work, participate in society and build and maintain positive relationships.

About Vivienne

Vivienne Evans OBE is the Chief Executive of Adfam and has extensive background experience in drug and alcohol education, prevention and working with young people. She is a former member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) and chaired its working group on the implementation of Hidden Harm.  She also chaired the Drug Sector Skills Consortium, funded by the Department of Health, from 2012 until its conclusion in 2015. For more information about ADFAM and its work with families and professionals, visit: https://adfam.org.uk/

How to join the webinar

Step 1: Register

First click here and register to book your place on the webinar. There are limited places available and only registered users will have access to the webinar. All you have to do is click here to save your place. Plus, we'll send you a link to watch the recording at your leisure after the live session.

Step 2: Join the webinar

After you have registered for the webinar you will receive instructions on how to join at the specified time.

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The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a health issue. It is a profound shock to our societies and economies, and women are at the heart of care and response efforts underway.